Documenting the sounds that make up India
India is a sensory wonderland. It is her sounds, ranging from the soft almost-silence of dawn in her villages to the hustle and bustle of her cities, that truly make the country stand apart. The Outlook responsible Tourism Initiative is documenting the many sounds from India's forests, mountains, beaches, streets and neighbourhoods along with Responsible Tourism practitioners across the country.
1. The Pardhis, Panna, Madhya Pradesh
In the jungles of Madhya Pradesh, live the Pardhi community. The indigenous nomadic community are trackers par excellence and have been hired for ‘shikars’ from the time of the Mughals. They can ‘read’ the forest like no one else can. To use their traditional knowledge and to help them be gainfully employed, the Last Wilderness Foundation created The Walk with the Pardhis. The idea is to take tourists on a walk in the wilderness and understand the forest as the community members do. The Pardhis also have another great talent, as is clear from the video below:
2. Tiatr, Goa
This video, shared by Goa-based experiential travel company The Local Beat, shows a small glimpse into the world of Tiatrs. This form of theatre has been around in Goa for over 125 years and its popularity is clear from the fact that there is at least one Tiatr being staged every single day of the year in the sunshine state! The plot of a Tiatr is typically divided into six or seven parts or 'Pordhos', which are separated by songs or 'Cantarams'. Each play could have as many as 15 songs and what's interesting is that the songs need not have any link with the main story or plot of the Tiatr! The 'Cantarists', who sing about love, life and even the latest socio-political issues, are artists who compose and sing the songs themselves. The Tiatr is as much a part of the Goan identity as the beaches or fish curry-rice of the state!
3. The Sarangi Player, Old Delhi
The streets of Old Delhi may just be amongst the liveliest of any Indian city. People spill out of old havelis and hole-in-the-wall shops, crowd around street food stalls, and spend much of the day out on the lanes and bylanes of this ancient city. In this video, shared by Old Delhi-based experiential day tour provider Masterji Kee Haveli Tourism India, we see a musician singing stories of Lord Shiva while playing the Sarangi. The Sarangi is thought to have evolved from traditional stringed and bowed instruments of Rajasthani folk music.